2020/21 UEFA Europa League tie information

Four weeks today, we will be kicking off in the preliminary round of the 2020/21 UEFA Europa League, and preparation is well underway both on and off the pitch.

As the football calendar has become condensed due to the Coronavirus pandemic, this year’s tie will be only one-legged, with the team drawn out of the pot first being given home advantage.

We can confirm that should we be given a home fixture, this will be played at the Cardiff City Stadium. This is the nearest ground that fully complies with Covid-19 game safety regulations, and has hosted five EFL Championship games in the last five weeks.

UEFA have also ruled that all games will be played behind closed doors, meaning supporters will unfortunately not be able to attend our fixture whether home or away. This is disappointing for everyone at the club, however we are sure the UEFA decision was made in the interests of both safety and to ensure no unfair advantage to any team given the new one legged format.

Nonetheless, we are keen to still make the game an experience to be enjoyed by our supporters, who were fantastic in both Europa League games last summer, and the match will be broadcast live either on television or an internet stream. We are nothing without your incredible support, and you will have a huge role to play come August 20th.

Further information will be announced in due course, with all aspects of the game set to become clearer following the draw on August 9th.

Drew Fahiya and Curtis Watkins depart Barry Town

Barry Town United can confirm that Drew Fahiya and Curtis Watkins will both depart the football club this summer.

The long-serving pair leave Jenner Park with everyone’s best wishes, having each played key roles in the club’s many successes in recent years.

Barry-born Fahiya joined the club in 2015 from AFC Rhoose and Watkins arrived the following year after leaving Cardiff City, and both helped the club to the Welsh League Division One title in 2016/17. Fahiya was joint top scorer that season, netting 19 goals.

The two continued to feature regularly in the Welsh Premier League, adapting to the step up as the team finished seventh in 2017/18 before securing Europa League football with a third place finish the season after – a magnificent achievement for two players who had been playing second tier football with the club just two years earlier. Qualification was achieved in a 5-2 win away at Bala Town, a game which Watkins started and Fahiya came off the bench to score the fifth goal.

Centre-back Watkins departs the club having made 97 appearances, scoring three goals, while forward Fahiya featured on 138 occasions, scoring 31 times. Those numbers demonstrate what excellent servants both have been to Barry.

Gavin Chesterfield said:

“Firstly, everyone around the club and especially the changing room will miss two fantastic guys. Both have contributed hugely on and off the field in their time at the club and I know they are very proud of all they have achieved in a Barry shirt.

“At the respective stages of their careers, whilst I’m sad to lose them both I fully respect their desire to play more football. I wish them both the very best and thank them for all they have done and I know they will never be strangers to our club.”

Mikey George: “It feels really good to be back with my hometown club”

Following the confirmation that Mikey George would be returning to Jenner Park, we caught up with the midfielder to get his thoughts on the move.

Hi Mikey, welcome back to Barry. What made you want to return to the club?

“I was really disappointed to leave the club last summer, and wanted to come back straight away. But in a way, going away and getting more experience under my belt has grown my confidence and I think it’s given Gav more confidence in me as well. It feels really good to be back with my hometown club, it really does.

“To be honest Gav is the main reason why I’m coming back because he made me the player that I am today. In terms of my technical ability, my fitness, my weight of pass, how to read the game – that’s all down to Gav. He taught me the ins and outs of the league. I take my hat off to him as a coach because he’s absolutely fantastic.”

How do you think you’ve changed in the last year since you left the club?

“The main thing is maturity. When I was coming through the Barry youth system and breaking into the first team, I was still a teenager learning the game. But now I’ve gone out and experienced men’s football, I’ve controlled what was inside of me. I understand the game better and deal with the officials better. I definitely feel more confident now.”

You were at Penybont last season and Llanelli on loan the year before, how good was it to be playing regular top-flight football?

“It was a fantastic experience. Playing against some of the best players in the league was great. I played a more defensive role at Penybont which I hadn’t done before, so I feel I can now offer more in the midfield. I’m a more well-rounded player for sure.”

Being from Barry, how does it feel to play for your hometown club?

“It was always a dream of mine since I was a kid. I’ve been watching Barry for years and always wanted to play for them. So it feels amazing.”

Does it make it easier coming back to a club and squad that you know?

“Obviously some players have been added, but I feel I had a good relationship with the team before, so it shouldn’t take me long to settle back in. Curtis [Hutson] has joined as well and he was a good mate of mine at Penybont. I really feel as though the dressing room will be good this year and that’s key to being successful because you want to work hard for each other.”

I’m sure fans will remember you from your first spell at the club, but just as a reminder, what sort of player are you and what do you hope to bring to the team?

“Fans will remember me as the little terrier on the pitch that always tries to win the ball back and has loads of energy, and that hasn’t changed. But I’m also more relaxed now and will offer more for the team.”

What are your ambitions for the new season?

“I obviously want to try and start as many games as I can. But for the team, I honestly believe we can go far in the Europa League and I genuinely think we can win the league. With the squad that we have, it’s young, fresh and there’s depth there too. There’s also lots of experience too. With that combination, I’m confident this year, I really am.”

Finally, any message for the fans?

“Just to let you know that I’m back and ready to go straight away! I’ve got loads of energy, and hopefully you can see I’m a more versatile player now with a better passing range. I’ve got fire inside me and I hope to see you all as soon as possible.”

#MikeyAdded | Barry Town United complete the signing of Mikey George

Barry Town United are delighted to announce that Mikey George has agreed terms to join the club for a second spell.

Born in Barry, George left Jenner Park last year and spent the 2019/20 campaign at Penybont, making 23 appearances in the club’s debut season in the Cymru Premier.

The versatile player joined Barry from Cambrian and Clydach four years ago, initially becoming part of the Development Team squad. He would make his senior debut in the 7-1 win over Haverfordwest County in the Nathaniel MG Cup in November 2016, coming on as a late substitute for Jordan Cotterill. Upon the club’s promotion to the top-flight the following year, George made three Welsh Premier League appearances which earned him his first senior team contract in the summer of 2018.

That same season as part of his plan for development, Mikey was loaned to fellow Welsh Premier League club Llanelli Town where he impressed making 19 appearances. Mikey now returns to his hometown club following another successful season in the top flight.

Having completed the signing, Gavin Chesterfield commented:

“I’m delighted to bring Mikey back to the club. He knows what we are about and how we work. Being honest I didn’t want to lose him last season but to his and Penybont’s, Mikey has matured as a player and his all action style and versatility will bring much to our squad. I’m genuinely excited to be working with him again and have no doubt be will emerge as one of the Cymru Premier League’s young talents.”

Curtis Hutson: “I can’t wait to get started”

Following the confirmation that Curtis Hutson would be returning to Jenner Park, we caught up with the winger to get his thoughts on the move.

Hi Curtis, welcome back to Barry. What made you want to return to the club?

“Everything that is going on at the club at the moment is really exciting, there’s a lot of ambition. I believe in Gav’s vision for the future and feel I have a place in that. I think I can bring a different element to the team that’s not there at the moment. It will be exciting to be around people who can challenge me and get the best out of me.

“I know a lot of the boys already too, I grew up with Clayton and I played with some of them at Cardiff City. It’s important for me to be in an environment where there are a few more players that I know and that understand me.”

What are your memories from your time at the club before in the 2014/15 season?

“I was only young and I didn’t really play as much as I wanted to, but it was good to be part of a squad that won the league. It was my first experience of winning a title, so that was great. But I just felt like I needed to get more experience.”

How do you think you’ve changed in the five years since you left the club?

“I’ve definitely think I’ve matured as a player. I’ve learnt to be critical of myself and to work hard on any areas that I feel I’m slacking on. I don’t turn a blind eye to poor performances. I’ve been more honest with myself and that’s really helped me improve.”

You have spent the last two years at Penybont, helping win promotion to the Cymru Premier and playing regularly last season. How did you find your time there?

“Winning the league and going unbeaten was a season to remember. Not many players can say they’ve gone through undefeated seasons, so the memories will stick with me forever. It was then good to get some experience in the Cymru Premier last season and I feel I put in some good performances.”

You played in both games against Barry last season, how did you find that?

“I won a penalty in the first game of the season which was good. Obviously the Barry squad was more experienced in the league and a lot stronger, but it made me realise that I could play at this level and do well. A good season of hard work was essential for me, and I feel I had that.”  

Some fans might remember you from your first spell at the club, but for those that don’t, what sort of player are you and what do you hope to bring to the team?

“I’m primarily a winger, but can also play up top or in the ten. I enjoy going forward and creating chances, and most importantly scoring goals.” 

What are your ambitions for the new season?

“I’ve got used to the league now and I’ve been working hard since the season ended so I really want to kick on now. I would love to be in the team of the year, because it would show I am capable of being up there with the best.

“I’d like to be competitive with as many as goals as I can too. The standard that Kayne sets is amazing, and that provides me with a target too. I like to aim high. I’ve put the foundations in place and now I can’t wait to get started.”

Finally, any message for the fans?

“It’s horrible playing against Barry when you’ve got all those fans against you! They’re amazing fans and I can’t think of anything better than having them behind me. Out of all the supporters I’ve heard in the league, they’ve got to be the best.

“I remember a chant I had before. It didn’t rhyme but I loved it. It was “Who needs Giggsy, we’ve got Curtis!” because he’s my cousin. I’ve always remembered that.”

#ComebackThursday | Curtis Hutson returns to Barry Town United

Barry Town United are pleased to announce that Curtis Hutson has agreed terms to join the club from fellow Cymru Premier League side Penybont.

Hutson returns to the club having spent the 2014/15 season at Jenner Park, when he was part of the squad that won the Welsh League Division Two title, making 18 appearances. He will be most fondly remembered for his winning goal against Risca United and his penalty that helped a ten-man Barry side come from 2-0 down to draw with West End.

A former Cardiff City academy player and Wales Under-16 international, Hutson would go on to play for both Caerau Ely and Goytre United, as well as spend time in Australia with Mornington Soccer Club, before signing for Penybont in 2018. He helped Rhys Griffiths’s side go unbeaten in his first season at the club as they stormed to the Welsh League Division One title, and then made 21 Cymru Premier League appearances last season, scoring five times.

Commenting on the signing, Gavin Chesterfield said:

“I’m delighted to welcome Curtis back to the club. Since he was last with us in 2015 Curtis has worked hard to develop his game and last season at Penybont he showed he can be a major threat in the Cymru Premier League. Whilst Curtis has matured his game, at 25 years of age there is so much more to come. He will add something different to the squad and I’m excited to see him back in a Barry Town shirt.”

Nat Jarvis: “It’s been a long time coming but is finally done”

Following the confirmation of the signing of Nat Jarvis, we caught up with the striker who gave his first interview as a Barry Town player.

Hi Nat, welcome to Barry Town. The move has been talked about for a while now, how pleased are you to have signed for the club?

“I’m buzzing. I’m really happy to be linking up with Gav as a manager and my close friends who have played for the club for a few seasons. It’s a stone’s throw away from my house, so it will be great to be playing closer to home also.

“It’s been close before, and me and Gav have spoken in probably the last three four or seasons, but I’ve put it off a couple times not feeling that the move would be the right one for me. But this time it feels like perfect timing. I’m really happy to have finally got it done.”

Having spoken to Gavin Chesterfield, how did he convince you to sign?

“It’s his drive and hunger to compete at the highest level and compete in Europe regularly. I’ve worked with him before at uni level, so I know what his sessions are like. The way he goes about things is very professional and he pays a lot of attention to detail.

“He has assured me that he’s the manager to play to my strengths. I’ve been to places where I’ve had to stamp my authority or show what I’m good at, as some managers haven’t known what sort of player I am or what I need around me to get the best out of me. But I think a lot of the players that he has assembled at Barry will compliment me quite well.”

You know a few of the boys in the squad already, was that a big factor in the move for you?

“It was massive for me. As I’ve travelled around quite a lot to play football, I’ve had to get to know lots of different people – some friendly, some not! But this team that Gav has assembled is just full of players that I know and that I’ve played with before. So it definitely seems to fit the bill.

“Luke Cooper and Clayts have pestered me for a while about signing, and I’ve told them before when I’ve been close and it hasn’t quite happened and they’ve been disappointed. But this time around they’re really happy!”

You grew up in Cardiff, came through the Cardiff City academy but have spent the last few years playing in the English system, are you pleased to be back in Wales?

“Definitely. It’s easier when you’re younger, but travelling around a lot does take its toll on you, especially if you’re at a club where you’re not playing. So I’m really, really happy to be back home.”

It will be your first taste of the Cymru Premier, are you looking forward to that?

“It’s a fresh challenge for me, which me and Gav talked about a lot. There’s the chance to play in Europe too, which I’ve never done before. I’m looking forward to playing against new teams, and they probably won’t know as much about me as teams over in England would.”

For fans who might not know too much about you, what sort of player are you and what do you hope to bring to the team?

“Pace, power and goals! I’ve got lots of drive and lots of experience to give. I can be direct and aggressive at times. I’m quite strong with my back to goal and link up well with other strikers, helping bring them into the game. I’m good aerially too – I played with Jack Compton at Chippenham and any time he looked to cross I would be in the box ready to pounce!”

Finally, the fans have been calling for this signing for a while, do you have any message for them?

“I’m delighted to have signed for the club. It’s been a long time coming but is finally done. I’ve come here to win, to play in Europe and score goals! It won’t be long until the fans will be back at Jenner Park after such a tough few months with regards to Covid-19. Be safe and look forward to seeing you soon!”

#JarvisJoins | Nat Jarvis becomes first summer signing for Barry

Barry Town United are delighted to confirm that we have agreed terms to bring Nat Jarvis to the club on a two-year deal.

Born in Cardiff, the striker joined the Cardiff City academy at the age of 8 and signed his first professional contract with the club in May 2011. He would make three senior appearances for the Bluebirds, scoring two goals, including a 20-yard lobbed header on his debut against Oxford United in the League Cup.

During his time at Cardiff, Jarvis spent time out on loan at Southend United, Newport County, Forest Green Rovers and Kidderminster Harriers, before eventually departing the club in 2013. Since then, he has played for a number of clubs in the English non-league system, including Bath City, Gloucester City and Hungerford Town.

The 28-year-old most recently enjoyed two seasons at Chippenham Town, playing regular football in the National League South. But he now returns to Wales to play in the Cymru Premier for the first time.

At international level, Jarvis qualifies to play for Antigua and Barbuda through his grandfather, and made his debut for the Caribbean country in 2014. He has 11 caps to date, scoring on three occasions.

Having completed the signing, Gavin Chesterfield said:

“This move has been a long time coming, but the timing feels right for both parties now. Nat is a striker who is different to what we already have at the club and is an exceptional character to have in the dressing room. I know Nat is excited to join the club and is looking forward to a fresh challenge in the JD Cymru Premier League.”

Red-y to go | Colour of 2020/21 away kit is decided

Last week, we announced that we were giving supporters the chance to vote for the colour of our 2020/21 away kit, with two options – Red or Black.

Much like the classic casino game of chance, it was a tense battle, the vote went down to the wire and the result couldn’t have been closer. But we can now confirm that our 2020/21 away kit will be red.

Designed by Macron Cardiff, the shirt will be the latest in a long line of red kits throughout our history. Here’s hoping it can bring us the same success that it did for Welsh Cup victories in 1955 and 1994, as well as the UEFA Cup run of 1996.

Thank you to everyone that voted, and details of how you’ll be able to purchase the 2020/21 away shirt will be available soon.

Gavin Chesterfield agrees contract extension

Barry Town United are delighted to announce that manager Gavin Chesterfield has agreed a new two year contract at the football club.

2020/21 will be Chesterfield’s 14th season in charge of the team, having first joined in the summer of 2007. Since then he has taken charge of exactly 450 games and become synonymous with Barry Town United.

Chesterfield won promotion from Welsh League Division Two in his first season at the helm and helped stabilise the club in the second tier. When the club were withdrawn from the league by a previous owner in 2013, Chesterfield and the Barry Town Supporters Committee fought to ensure the club’s survival and continued existence. Having won a court case, Chesterfield then guided the team to three promotions in four years, ensuring a return to the top-flight in 2017.

The revival was complete in 2019 when the club finished third in the Welsh Premier League, qualifying for European football for the first time in 16 years, something which would again be achieved this year with a fourth place finish. Chesterfield’s tenure has also included an appearance in the Welsh League Cup final in 2017 and two Welsh Cup semi-finals in 2013 and 2019.

Upon signing his new contract, Chesterfield said:

“Firstly, I want to thank the board for their continued support and belief. I’m genuinely honoured to sign a new deal with the club. Going into my 14th season we have grown immeasurably together. The future looks exciting both on and off the field and I’m proud to be a part of it.”